Sunday, November 25, 2007

Garden Tour - Compost and Brush Pile

I suppose I should start my tour with the pretty flowers, but well, it's November. I don't have any pretty flowers. My prairie smoke is budding, which is just plain wrong, but I'll rant on climate change another time.

Fall is for composting. My sugar maple lost most of its leaves a few weeks ago, but the Norway maples were just no shedding. We had some very cold temperatures Wednesday night (mid 20s F) and the leaves on the Norway maples in the neighbors' yards finally let go. Today the weather moderated enough to rake. (Ever tried to rake frozen leaves? It doesn't work very well.) I was afraid my compost area was no large enough for the leaves, but I climbed onto the heap and stomped the leaves down, just like making wine. I filled them to the top of my 4' chain link fence three times!

Next fall I will have all the fertilizer that I need, thanks to the worms, slugs, insects, bacteria, and fungi in the compost heap. No petroleum used to make the fertilizer (in contrast to the stuff at the store). No petroleum used to make the trash bags. No petroleum used by the trash truck to pick up the bags of leaves. My yard is a closed nutrient cycle.

I also dragged the mulberry brush from one corner of the yard to the compost heap area. I could have left the brush where it was, but I expect rabbits to e one of the many wildlife species to use the brush pile, and I would like them to be as far as possible from my vegetable garden.

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